NZ expert dismisses link between video games and kids' gun use

A US study linking video games to childrens' attitude towards guns has highlighted the difference in our firearms laws.

The research out of Ohio State University, using popular video game Minecraft, found that children under 12 are more likely to pick up a gun if they play the game using characters with guns.

Children who played the game with it set to not allow any violent interactions were 23 percent less likely to pick up a handgun when given the opportunity to play with one.

However, Victoria University senior lecturer Simon McCallum says this research shouldn't concern New Zealand parents.

"Most New Zealanders do not leave hand guns loaded in their drawers or on their kitchen tables, if you do, you probably should train your children how to use guns safely."

Mr McCallum says if a child here has access to a loaded gun then that's a problem in itself.

"You cannot leave a gun loaded in your home, you're not even allowed to leave it locked up and loaded, so this is an American environment where guns are very available."

The study also found that 20 percent of homes with children in the United States kept firearms loaded and unsecured.